Later on and I want to hear it (how often is I Lituani performed? this production was originally staged in Kaunas, I gather) but the Pärt Days concert on Estonian Radio-- Pärt and Bach-- I don't want to miss, either. A dilemma.
This morning the italics are not working and the displaying of the front page is wonky somehow. Tsk.
Have joined I Lituani in progress... and of course I have no idea of what is going on, plot-wise, at this point. The general storyline involves... well, the English languge Wikipedia general synopsis is infra. The libretto, by Antonio Ghislanzoni, is based on the Adam Mickiewicz poem Konrad Wallenrod (I'm still about half of the way through Pan Tadeusz so don't imagine that I'll be getting to Konrad in the immediate future).
Corrado Wallenrod, actually a Lithuanian named Walter who is impersonating a loyal Teutonic Knight, allows the Lithuanians to win against the Teutons by executing a long-planned misdirection. Aldona, his wife who has entered a convent, searches for her love Walter, and finds him just before he is sentenced to death for his deception.
Am now listening to the first act of Ponchielli's Il figliuol prodigo-- when I began I had presumed that the plot was a dramatized exposition of the passage in Saint Luke's Gospel (15,11sqq) but, no, no, Ponchielli's theatre doesn't work like that: we are in the times of the patriarchs of the Jews with Assyrian adventurers spicing things up and, inter alii, a Nubian mime named Sirio who's a snake charmer. The fancy is wonderful and melodramatic certainly: there are lots of choruses, and no signs of dissonance. This tenor aria, Il Padre, il padre mio, from toward the end of Act IV (sung here by Rolando Villazón), seems to be the one chosen for inclusion on recital programs and so forth, following Robleto Merolla in 1975. Evidently (according to Italian Wikipedia, anyway) the opera hasn't been staged since before the Second World War.